by ANNA NTABANE
MBOMBELA, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – FOR ensuring compliance with provisions of the lockdown, traffic officers are among individuals at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19).
However, while their importance in flattening the transmission curve cannot be underestimated, they could be exposing themselves through improper use of the material they have been equipped with to protect themselves.
It is against the backdrop of such dangers that the Mpumalanga Provincial Government has alerted traffic to the proper use of protective gear such as disposal masks and gloves.
Senior government officials and experts were on hand to deliver the life-saving precautions at an event in Vintonia, Mbombela where the material and sanitizers were handed out to the enforcers.
“Masks and gloves are disposable,” enlightened Gugulethu Mashabane, the Department of Health’s Manager of the expanded programme on immunisation provincial outbreak response team.
“Do not use the same mask over and over again, use it once and dispose it correctly. When using gloves, you can sanitize them but do not remove and wear them again as they will be contaminated,” Mashabane further advised the traffic officers.
The health expert explained the situation exposing officers worst to COVID-19.
“You (officers) handle licenses every day. You cannot ascertain the license holder’s state of health. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Do not remove your mask when you want to talk to a driver, use the mask and gloves. We care about your safety,” Mashabane said.
Gabisile Shabalala, the Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Community, Safety, Security and Liaison, also appealed to the officers to prioritise their safety.
She is on the ground checking if the public is abiding by the law and that officers deployed are taking precautionary measures during the lockdown.